Scorpio Rising + Flaming Creatures

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Scorpio Rising + Flaming Creatures
Scorpio Rising

Employing gleaming images of muscled (and often shirtless) guys in leather delicately working on motorcycles and featuring a soundtrack of mostly '60s pop hits, Kenneth Anger's dialogue-free 1963 experimental short "Scorpio Rising" (29 mins) manages to make the life of a biker seem like a very masculine, dangerous preoccupation and a rather homoerotic hobby. The film artfully touches on everything from the greaser gang's rituals to its members' hero worship and surprisingly juvenile lifestyle, with Anger adding to the growing mood of utter doom by throwing in Christian and Nazi imagery. Fans of the film Drive surely will notice the everpresent scorpion symbol, almost identical to the one on the back of Ryan Gosling's jacket in the 2011 movie; director Nicolas Winding Refn has said he took inspiration from Anger's film. Jack Smith's 1963 black-and-white short "Flaming Creatures" (43 mins), once ruled obscene by a New York court, was controversial for its bold presentation of ambiguous sexuality.

By: Jake Malooley

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